|Table from the IMF - World Economic Outlook April 2014|
According to the IMF latest set of projections (April 2014) the Maltese economy will grow, as shown on the Table being reproduced, by 1.8% in each of year 2014 and 2015 compared to the 2.4% registered in 2013.
Such a growth rate would still be better than the average for the Euro area projected at 1.2% for 2014 and 1.5% for 2015. The only countries that are expected to do better over these two years are Ireland ( 1.7% and 2.5%) Slovakia ( 2.3% and 3%) Luxembourg ( 2.1% and 1,9%) Latvia ( 3.8% and 4.4%) and Estonia ( 2.4% and 3.2%).
But with the exception of Luxembourg, all countries that are expected to do better than Malta are starting from very low numbers as evidenced by their unemployment level in 2013.
Malta had unemployment rate of 6.5% and Luxembourg had 6.8% in 2013 ( Juncker does not have much to criticize us about unemployment!!) but the rest had the following levels of unemployment in 2013:
As I recently stated in a public address I made at a PL activity in Zejtun I bet my bottom dollar that in 2014 we will better the economic growth of 2.4% registered in 2013 and I am confident that our growth this year will have a 3 handle.
1. because last year's growth was achieved in 9 months as the economy was largely frozen in the election quarter.
2. because the economy has momentum.
3. because measures to make work pay will start being felt in 2014.
4. because the fruit of the IIP will start being felt especially in the property and construction market.
5. because confidence leads to investments which leads to employment and growth.
So it is good to use the IMF's cautious projections for the purposes of budgeting. But on the ground where it matters we can do better.